Let’s talk sexual violence

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On Sept. 16, I attended the launch of Sexual Violence Awareness Week, Sept. 16-22, themed Breaking Out of the Box. It’s a time to remember and support victims but also challenge the taboo, shame and silence surrounding sexual violence.

Sexual violence statistics are grim. On a national scale, half of all women over the age of 16 have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual assault. Women are 11 times more likely to be victims of sexual violence than men.  

The reality is, women and girls experience what are considered more subtle forms of sexual violence every day. Hyper-sexualized music videos, images circulating through social media, and recent appalling incidents at Canadian universities during orientation week, including our own, are often not associated with sexual violence. These are, however, examples which promote sexual violence because they objectify women and by doing so further contribute to gender inequality. This culture not only affects women but the way our youth, both boys and girls, interact with each other and develop their understanding of healthy relationships.

We call on men and women throughout our province to work together to challenge all forms of sexual violence, talk openly with our youth and help build a world that is safer and healthier for all of us.

Linda Ross, president/CEO

Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women

Organizations: CEOProvincial Advisory Council

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  • Herb Morrison
    September 24, 2013 - 07:44

    If we, as individuals and groups of individuals are to deal effectively with the issue of objectification, the objectification of any human being for any reason must be deemed unacceptable. The objectification of people because of their gender, race, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation, to name but a few reasons, as to why people are targeted for unjustifiable abuse; within the society of which we are a part, must also be deemed unacceptable. In her letter Ms. Ross comes perilously close to engaging in objectification of males, by at least implying that all males have the potential to be violent sex offenders. Ms. Ross' perchance for engaging in amateur psychoanalysis, by stating that all males will be motivated to commit acts of sexual violence, or otherwise objectify , because they watch videos, which objectify women, by portraying women as sex objects, is, at best, insulting to the intelligence of any thinking person, male or female, and, at worst, represents the sexist objectification of males.